How to Use the COUNT and COUNTA functions in Excel

Excel provides different types of count functions each of them suiting to a different situations. As the name specifies these functions help to count the number of cells in a given range/ cells based on the specified criteria.

In this post let’s see what Count and CountA functions are, syntax and how to use these functions.

The Count Function

Count returns the total number of cells that contain NUMBERS ONLY in a given range/ group of cells.

How to write COUNT Function

The syntax for Count Function is as follows

=Count(Value1,[Value2],[Value3],….)

Let us breakdown the syntax

The arguments of count function are Value1,Value2,… These can be values, alphabets, symbols, special characters, space or array of values or referring to a range of cells (Cell References). [Learn more about Cell References]

Value 1 is mandatory and the rest of the fields are optional. This will be a referring to a range in majority of the cases.

Examples: See the below examples to understand the Count Function

  1. Entering Values Directly in the Function
    1. In the below image 6 values 1, 2, 3, a, b, c are entered. However count returns only 3 as there are only 3 numbers in the data supplied to the function.

      using count function in excel

  2. Entering Values through a range
    1. Instead of entering values directly, a range can be given as input to the function. It will be like =Count (Range of Data). See the below image to understand. We have data in the range from F1 to F10. There are only 3 cells with numbers in it and the rest are alphabets and symbols along with a blank cell in between. So Count Function returns 3 as output.
      using count function in excel

The CountA Function

CountA returns the total number of cells that are NOT BLANK/ NOT EMPTY in a given range/ group of cells.

How to write COUNTA Function

The syntax and the usage of COUNTA is same as that of Count Function except the outcome of the function

The syntax for CountA Function is as follows

=CountA(Value1,[Value2],[Value3],….)

The arguments of count function are Value1,Value2,… These can be values, alphabets, symbols, special characters, space or array of values or referring to a range of cells (Cell References). [Learn more about Cell References].

Value 1 is mandatory and the rest of the fields are optional. This will be a referring to a range in majority of the cases.

Remember that Space is also counted as character by the CountA function.

Let us use the same data used in the COUNT function and see what COUNTA function returns.

  1. Entering Values Directly in the Function
    1. In the below image 6 values 1, 2, 3, a, b, c are entered. COUNTA returns 6 as there are 6 values in the data supplied to the function.

      using countA function in excel

  2. Entering Values through a range
    1. Instead of entering values directly, a range can be given as input to the function. It will be like =CountA(Range of Data).

      See the below image to understand. We have data in the range from F1 to F10. There are 3 cells with numbers, 3 cells with alphabets and 3 cells with symbols along with a blank cell in between. Since CountA counts the number of non-empty/ non blank cells the output will be 9.

      using countA function in excel

The number of arguments can be upto 255 in excel count function provided you are using excel version of 2007 or later In Excel 2003 or prior the number of arguments are limited to 30. 

Do you use COUNT/ COUNTA functions?

Please do share the situations/ cases where you use COUNT/ COUNTA functions in the comment box below.

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One Reply to “How to Use the COUNT and COUNTA functions in Excel”

  1. […] CountA: To count the number of blank cells in a given range. (Learn More about COUNTA) […]

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